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An anonymous group calling themselves “Phantom Squad” have threatened to take down the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live next Friday on Christmas Day.

The threats were issued from a twitter account that has been active since November 27th. In that time the “Phantom Squad” has claimed to have brought down the PlayStation Network several times; requesting retweets in order to reinstate service.

Threats on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live have only recently gained some traction due to the Phantom Squad twitter tying these threats to the issue of cyber security.

https://twitter.com/PhantomSqaud/status/677245840512016384

https://twitter.com/PhantomSqaud/status/677246314950746112

Over the last month the “Phantom Squad”  has attempted to tie their activities to Anonymous, retweeting this from @YourAnonNews and claiming “alliance” with other Anonymous branded accounts.

The “Phantom Squad” also seems to have a fixation on Treyarch and Call of Duty Black Ops, claiming the Black Ops servers as targets several times.

https://twitter.com/PhantomSqaud/status/673203563217027072

https://twitter.com/PhantomSqaud/status/675759974144872453

The “Phantom Squad” twitter account has bragged of taking down several online entities. They claim to have taken down Instagram, though there are no reports of outages. The group also claims to have been behind an outage on Reddit Tuesday December the 15th. Reddit has not acknowledged any hacking taking place Tuesday, stating that the outage was due to a database issue, requiring a reset.

https://twitter.com/PhantomSqaud/status/676631511349592064

Users on twitter have been consistently doubtful of the “Phantom Squad” hacks. Several users shared pictures of Black Ops 3 running fine after the group claims to have taken it down. The Phantom Squad twitter has posted many times asserting their legitimacy. They tweeted “We are a legit hacking group. What you believe is what you believe.” and “We will keep hitting servers if you don’t believe us.”

While there is no way to substantiate any of these threats or past actions, those of you who want to play games on Christmas might want to download any updates the night before. 


Quick Take

To me this looks more like the actions of a wannabe script kiddie than a legitimately “dangerous” hacker collective. The constant “take us seriously” tweets and attempts to tie themselves to Anonymous, the internet Boogeyman only reinforce that. That said, the PSN has shown an almost unbelievable fragility. So if you’re at all worried, just download your updates early and get your fill of multiplayer before any cataclysmic hacks occur.


Wyatt Hnatiw

Staff Writer

Wyatt Hnatiw is a lifelong gamer with a borderline inappropriate love of BioWare RPGs and Bioshock. Maybe he just loves the prefix Bio...



  • webkilla

    Whelp, if Sony hasn’t upped their network resilience since last time around then… what the hell did they expect?

  • Mr Snow

    I hope they find the phantom phags and execute each and every one of them.

    I know it’s harsh, and it makes me sound sick, but these are guys who don’t want to work in security, they just want to ruin the lives of millions of people. Instead they could show Sony flaws in their network, and then offer to work for them.

    But they’d rather affect millions of people. These aren’t people that want to live in society, they want to ruin it.

  • BurntToShreds

    What exactly counts as “sufficient” DDoS protection? Those attacks aren’t the easiest defend against.

  • AWOOOO

    Don’t they have anything better to do?

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    If this happens again, the hackers were sadly right. Still, how these hackers are going about this is childish and will hurt the customers that deserve better service and security the most.

  • SevTheBear

    If they said they wanted to proof that the security in Sony and Microsoft Online service is shit (and it is) and went mature about I think more people would take this at bit more seriously. “Lizard Squad” said the same thing and was a bunch of pricks to anyone didn’t agreed with them.

  • mbits

    So?

    This sort of thing is necessary. You don’t improve security and network reliability by never having to combat attacks on it the same way you don’t build up an immune system by living in a hyper-clean sanitized environment. The same way you don’t build up a sharp mind by starving it of debate, controversy, and diverse opinions.

    Yes, it is inconvenient, but there are endless numbers of single player games out there you can enjoy for the day or two that problems happen.

  • mbits

    Someone has watched one too many propaganda pieces about “hackers” in the media. You sound like the kind of person who wants to have every kid running an NMAP on internet-facing servers arrested.

  • mbits

    There’s not a whole lot you can do to defend against DDoS other than keep throwing hardware and bandwidth at it . . . and you can’t really justify having 20-times the resources available at all times just to fight against the couple days a year when an attack makes 1-times the resources not enough.

    A DDoS isn’t like breaching a network or capturing a server. It’s simply like trying to fill a water balloon with a fire hose. You can discern some pattern between legitimate and bogus traffic, but that has limited mitigation.

  • Some men just want to watch the world burn. It’s on Microsoft and SONY to protect their paying customers from this.

  • webkilla

    you can block incoming signal spam – you can even automate that via scripts.
    But ya, countering a DDOS attack can be tricky – but its not impossible

  • Kaytaro

    I’m sure they’ll be down anyway regardless of anonymous activity.